And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.(Luke 21:24)
In lieu of recent events in Jerusalem surrounding the Temple Mount, there has been a difference of opinion which has arisen among prophecy watchers in the Christian community.
On the one hand some of us were cautiously excited when headlines in Jerusalem proclaimed that the Jordanian Waqf was no longer controlling the 38 acre platform which many believe is the site of the first and second temple of God, both of which were destroyed on Tisha’Ba Av, (The ninth of the month of Av). The first temple was destroyed in 587 BC and the second was destroyed and razed in 70 Ad.
(Ironically as of sundown this evening, it is Tisha’ba Av).
On the other hand there have been some who vigorously dismiss any connection of the event on the Temple Mount as examples of “Christians not knowing what they are talking about”, and foolishly exacerbating the realtime situation occurring there. One otherwise brilliant and useful prophecy teacher went so far as to warn Christians to stay away from the (subject of) the Temple Mount, “it is a deception and isn’t holy” and that we shouldn’t concern ourselves with it.
Why does each side take their particular position on this issue?
(Mind you as in so many other issues, it is not a salvific issue and by no means should Christians divide over it).
I am a proponent of the first position for these reasons;
- No one can tell me that the Temple Mount has no prophetic significance in the light of scriptures such as Revelation 11, Luke 21:24 and Matthew 14-16. Jesus himself told those watching for his return tat an event would occur on that mount which would launch “Great tribulation such as the World has never seen before ,nor will it ever see again”.
- The Temple Mount is desecrated currently and desolated indeed. Both sides recognize this, there is already an “Abomination which makes desolate” upon it, the Mosque of Omar and the Dome of the Rock.
- The Temple Mount happens to be the place and in the only city on earth where God has placed his name forever, even in a desecrated situation are Christians expected to ignore it? I think Not.
I believe that the other side of this issue is mistakenly assuming that we who see the Temple Mount as a prophetic issue, regard it as “Holy” somehow, and that we believe there would be some validity to the Temple in which sacrifices will be made, until the Anti-Christ cuts them off after 3 and a half years.
But most of know better than that. I don’t think Christians should be financing or supporting the rebuilding of the Temple. It is only of significance as prophetic fulfillment.
I know that the Temple Mt. is currently desecrated, and that any Temple built in the Tribulation will in itself be an abomination, as predicted in Isaiah 66,
Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not. (Isaiah 66:1-4)
AntiChrist will come into the faux”Holy Holies” of that Temple and committed the ultimate sacrilege, most prophecy people know all of that full well.
But that doesn’t mean that we should ignore the Temple Mount, or the atrocities committed on it. Prophecy directs us to pay attention to that piece of real estate.
We are not a stumbling block to Jews and Arabs for pointing these things out, as someone has wrongfully accused of being. As long as we are seeking to understand scripture, we may get some things slightly wrong but that doesn’t mean we are twisting and speculating.
As for the charge that by our searching and blogging on scripture passages about the Temple Mount we are actually making the real time situation worse, just remember, What is happening there in Jerusalem is the dealings of God himself. “I (Jahweh) will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling…and a Burdensome stone to all of the nations round about…”.(Zechariah 12:1-3)
Would reporting on other scriptures such as the coming Ezekiel 38 war be rebuked because it might provoke the Muslims? Ridiculous!! Christians are called to search, and long for the coming of the LORD< and part of that is the imperfect but valid practice of trying to determine the meaning and appliction of these prophecies, and sharing those findings wth others.